On May 15, something extraordinary started in Spain. On that day, a network of Spanish citizens under the banner Democracia real YA! (Real democracy, now!) called for demonstrations all around Spain to protest against a corrupt political system, with its epicenter in Madrid’s Plaza del Sol. This has ignited the powder of indignation accumulated during these last years against political and economic elites that use their positions for their private benefit, being the bailout of the bankers the maximum expression of this alliance of the crooks. As in other places, the Internet has played a key role in the mobilisation of citizen for expressing their rights. On Twitter, people are using hashtags #spanishrevolution #notenemosmiedo #nolesvotes #acampadasol #acampadabcn…to tell, express, protest, coordinate, call for more and more action. On Facebook, the page of the campaign Democracia real YA has already more than 225,000 likes, and a petition to ask the Junta Electoral Central (Board of elections, regulating and supervising good proceedings during elections) to revoke a decision to ban any demonstrations during Saturday, “reflection day”, has at this moment 165,000 petitioners.
In February this year, in one of my posts I said:
In well-established democracies these technological changes may facilitate revolt against the privileges of the political class – from the pettty corruption of letting the taxpayer pay a hotel room in a private trip to the big commissions attached to public procurement contracts -, and the manipulation of state structures for the benefit of the few, those with money and position to influence, sometimes even determine, how we are governed – above all the financiers, who with arrogance move money, take money as they please.
This is the citizens’ revolution. Those who enjoy democratic citizenship use it to stop the crooks, the corrupt, the greedy profiting from the loopholes that an imperfect system – as it always will be – offers them for their private gain.
It is very satisfying to see that this is really happening. Currently I am not in Barcelona, I wish I were there. But confident this protest goes beyond the election period, I am arriving next week, ready to join this revolutionary movement. At this moment, I believe we need to support it unconditionally, being conscious, nonetheless, of the challenges ahead. For me the biggest challenge is to transform these networks of deconstruction and protest, into networks of construction and governance. But, as I wrote just three months ago I also believe that…
given the right structures we can produce knowledge that helps us towards constructing for our common goal, not only destroying. Not only toppling down, but also building up.